Diablo III creators will patch in PvP arena combat at a later date
Jay Wilson, the game director for the upcoming Diablo III, announced on the game's website earlier today that the company would be removing the player-versus-player arena combat from the title prior to its release. Blizzard plans to add a patch to the game afterward that will restore the feature.
According to Wilson, the PvP wasn't meeting the company's expectations, and rather than delay the game's launch, they wanted to hold the component itself back for further fine-tuning:
We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we’ll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be. In the meantime, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch.
The developer promised that the finished product would be well worth the prolonged wait:
When the PvP patch is ultimately ready, it will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily. We’ll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team’s skulls.